: Absolute Mercy

Emad Fadel
08-06-2010, 07:17 AM
In teaching his Companions, the Prophet did not stop at extending mercy to mankind. He was fully aware that Gods grace encompasses everything, and that the believers are required to cultivate within themselves the moral principles which form
the attributes of God. Man does not attain his full humanity unless he is merciful to every living thing. The Prophets instructions in this regard were, as always, highly inspiring.

Abū Hurayrah quotes the Prophet as saying:

A man was traveling along a road when he was very thirsty. He found a well, so he went down into it to drink. As he came up he found a gasping dog who was apparently so thirsty that he licked the dust. The man thought, `this dog is now as thirsty as I was a short while ago.
Therefore, he went down the well again and filled his shoe with water. Holding it in his mouth, he came up and gave the water to the dog to drink. God rewarded him for his action by forgiving him. The Prophets audience asked: `Messenger of God, are we to be rewarded for kindness to animals? He answered: You get a reward for every kindness you do to any living creature.

(Related by al-Bukhārī, Muslim and Mālik.)

In another report, a prostitute is mentioned as having seen a dog walking to and fro in front of a well on a very hot day. His tongue was hanging out because of his thirst. She used her shoe to give him water to drink. So, God forgave her because of her kindness.

`Abd al-Raĥmān ibn `Abdullāh transmits the following report by his father, who says: We were traveling with Gods Messenger when we saw a small bird with two chicks. We took the chicks away. The bird came over us lowering her wings and flying close to the earth. When the Prophet came over, he asked, `Who has taken the
chicks of this bird? Give her back her chicks. He also saw that we burnt a number of ant dwellings. When we owned up to the fact in response to his question, he said, `No one may punish any creature with fire except the Lord of the Fire.

(Related by Abū Dāwūd.)

Abū Hurayrah quotes the Prophet as saying: An ant bit one of the earlier prophets, so he ordered the ant dwellings to be burnt. Through inspiration God asked him: If you are bitten by an ant, would you burn a whole nation which glorifies God?

(Related by al-Bukhārī and Muslim.)

Such was the Prophets method in cultivating among his Companions a keen sense of appreciation of Qurānic guidance. This enabled them to appreciate how limitless Gods grace is, through their own mercy to one another.